Profit Maximization versus Disadvantageous Inequality: The Impact of Self-Categorization

Stephen M. Garcia, Avishalom Tor, Max H. Bazerman, Dale T. Miller
2005 Social Science Research Network  
Choice behavior researchers (e.g., Bazerman, Loewenstein, & White, 1992) have found that individuals tend to choose a more lucrative but disadvantageously unequal payoff (e.g., self-$600/other-$800) over a less profitable but equal one (e.g., self-$500/ other-$500); greater profit trumps interpersonal social comparison concerns in the choice setting. We suggest, however, that self-categorization (e.g., Hogg, 2000) can shift interpersonal social comparison concerns to the intergroup level and
more » ... rgroup level and make trading disadvantageous inequality for greater profit more difficult. Studies 1-3 show that profit maximization diminishes when recipients belong to different social categories (e.g., genders, universities). Study 2 further implicates self-categorization, as selfcategorized individuals tend to forgo profit whether making a choice for themselves or another ingroup member. Study 3, moreover, reveals that social categorization alone is not sufficient to diminish profit maximization; individuals must self-categorize and identify with their categorization.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.661444 fatcat:3elhrdkpqnfu3euufhf4c4ijbu